The third issue of the annual The State of Islamophobia in Europe was published on Monday, and it paints a very worrying picture of Islamophobia in Europe.
We have unfortunately seen in countries like Finland how hate speech and toothless measures to contain all forms of racism and discrimination have put in harm’s way other religious minorities like the Jews.
One key recommendation of the report is the recognition and acknowledgment of the specific form of racism targeting Muslims.
The report states: “The denial of the very existence of Islamophobia/anti-Muslim racism/anti-Muslim hate crime in Europe by many demonstrates the need for an appropriate effort and political will to tackle this normalized racism and its manifestations that are deeply entrenched in European societies, institutions, and states.”
And continues: “With the generalized suspicion against Muslims, it is of utmost importance for EU policy makers not to fall into the trap of treating Muslims as potential problems but rather as human beings whose fundamental rights can be violated. Combatting Islamophobia is not about preventing radicalism or terrorism […] it is about politically addressing structural forms of discrimination and racism affecting Muslims or those perceived as such.”
Read the full report here.
The rise of Islamophobia in countries like Finland are evident in parties like the Perussuomalaiset (PS) and Blue Reform* have made Finland a less safe place for migrants and especially Muslims.
After these two parties, the National Coalition Party (NCP) is seen by some as the most Islamophobic.
The report cites the NCP, PS Vice President Laura Huhtasaari, and former PS Youth leader Sebastian Tynkkynen.
Plans to build a grand mosque in Helsinki ended when the NCP and Mayor Vapaavuori haled such plans. The NCP stated that the building of the mosque had nothing to do with freedom of religion but was about “the pursuit of power by Islam and political Islamization.”
Huhtasaari, who is one of the most visible Islamophobic voices in Finland, is an ardent supporter of Hungarian strongman Viktor Orbán.
A court sentenced Tynkkynen in December 2017 for ethnic agitation after stating in his Facebook wall that Finland would be a safer place with fewer Muslims.
* The Perussuomalaiset (PS) party imploded on June 13 into two factions, the PS and New Alternative, which is now called Blue Reform. Despite the name changes, we believe that it is the same party in different clothing. Both factions are hostile to cultural diversity. One is more open about it while the other is more diplomatic.
A direct translation of Perussuomalaiset in English would be something like “basic” or “fundamental Finn.” Official translations of the Finnish name of the party, such as Finns Party or True Finns, promote in our opinion nativist nationalism and racism. We, therefore, at Migrant Tales prefer to use in our postings the Finnish name of the party once and after that the acronym PS.